The shell of the macadamia nut is notoriously difficult to crack. The force required to shell a raw nut can pulverize the interior meat. However, with patience to let the macadamia slowly roast, you can dry the nuts in their shell and get the nut meat out to use for further roasting or in recipes such as nut encrusted tilapia or white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. However, the shell will still be difficult to remove; employ a specialized tool that removes the shell without damage to the interior meat.
Remove the fibrous outer husk of the macadamia nut, leaving the hard shell intact.
Place the nut, in its shell, on a porous surface at room temperature. Do not pile the nuts more than two nuts deep in the drying area. In addition, do not drop the nuts on top of one another, as dropping bruises the interior nut meat, discoloring it. While you can leave the nuts to dry in their shell for two weeks and then shell them, placing them in a low-heat oven speeds up the process.
Place the nuts, still in their shells on a porous surface, such as a pierced baking sheet, in the oven. Set the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check the nuts after 24 hours. The nuts are ready when the meat shakes inside the shell. This means the moisture content is low enough that the nut meat is ready for use.
Crack the nuts and separate the shells. The nuts should be dry enough to crack at this stage according to the University of Hawaii's Cooperative Extension Service. Use a specialized vice or tool to remove the outer shell and make the nutmeat available for use. At this point, the nuts are ready to roast, or can be eaten raw.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the shelled nuts on a baking pan, ensuring that they are dispersed in an even layer.
Bake the nuts for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a light, golden brown. Remove the nuts, and store in tightly closed jars.
Things You'll Need
Pierced baking sheet
Macadamia nut cracker
According to the University of Hawaii's Cooperative Extension Services, roasted macadamia nuts may be kept for up to one year in the freezer.REFERENCES & RESOURCES University of Hawaii at Manoa: Processing Macadamia Nuts at Home